Winter 2024

Rutgers Health Hub

Dear Rutgers Health Community,  

2024 promises to be a momentous year for Rutgers Health. We are thrilled to continue celebrating our ten-year anniversary, coupled with the ongoing rollout of our new identity as Rutgers Health. Through a dynamic marketing campaign, we aim to not only elevate our visibility but also strengthen our identity as New Jersey’s only academic health center: a beacon synonymous with groundbreaking research, compassionate health care, and innovative education.  

As you will read more about in this issue of Rutgers Health Hub, this year holds great promise and I thank you for being an integral part of our community as we strive to promote health and well-being for all.  



Brian L. Strom, MD, MPH 

Chancellor, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences 

Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, Rutgers University 

Meet the People of Rutgers Health

Five Rutgers Health employees were profiled as part of the “Meet the People of Rutgers” story series. 

Thomas P. DiStefano

Title: Assistant Director for Digital Communication and User Experience 

Unit: School of Nursing

“One of my favorite memories is my first Ag Field Day, which was in 1993 and I don't think I have missed one since. Now, as part of Rutgers Day, I truly enjoy all of the exhibits, energy and sheer enthusiasm of Rutgers students and faculty as they showcase their departments and clubs.” 

Cassandra Burrows

Title: Assistant Director of Administration and Finance

Unit: Rutgers Institute for Translational Medicine and Science

“Something to know about me is my family and I raise Seeing Eye puppies. At around 7 weeks old, The Seeing Eye delivers a puppy to our home and other homes of volunteer puppy raisers who live close to the philanthropic organization in Morristown.”    

Evette Cladd

Title: Unit Clerk

Unit: Obstetrics and Gynecology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

“My favorite memories are interacting with patients. It brings me joy knowing that I can make someone's day with even just a ‘Hello.’ It's reassuring when patients tell me how nice I am because I always try to make a difference in their day, even if it's a small one.”

Rhonda Barnes

Title: Admissions Coordinator

Unit: Rutgers School of Public Health

 “Something to know about me is that I work at a performing arts theater as a lead front of house usher for live on-stage performances. I have worked in the entertainment business for 18 years.”

Shelley Franz

Title: Regional Nurse Manager

Unit: University Correctional Health Care

"In my role, I ensure access to health care services across a continuum of care, which includes two secure care facilities, ten residential community homes, and community-based parole and transitional services for court-involved youth of New Jersey.” 

Learn More

Rutgers Day 2024 Information

Mark your calendars for Rutgers Day 2024, Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Cook/Douglass, College Avenue, and Busch campuses in New Brunswick and Piscataway. Program registration is open to Rutgers Health schools, departments, and student organizations to participate in the Health Village on the Busch Campus. Showcase how your unit is working towards a healthier world! Registration closes February 16. To learn more, visit the Rutgers Day website. Questions? Email [email protected]

Registration is open!

The Rutgers Health Anniversary Symposium

"Uncovering Solutions to Health Inequities"

Register Today

Registration is now open for the Rutgers Health Anniversary Symposium. Join us on March 20, 2024 as we explore health equity and disparities in our communities through research, care, public policy, and community outreach.

March 20, 2024

10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

College Avenue Student Center

New Brunswick, New Jersey

Ten-Year Celebration

A collection of notable stories as we continue to commemorate the ten-year anniversary of our founding. 

A Decade of Discovery 

Highlights of breakthrough research and transformative projects from various Rutgers Health units, including the Rutgers Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. 

Read More

How Rutgers Health Research Informs Policy Changes at Local, State, and National Levels 

From advising on the dangers of menthol cigarettes to advocating for 9/11 first responders, faculty and researchers sit at the vanguard of informed policy-making. 

Read More

A Research Powerhouse

Rutgers Partners with NJPAC to Launch Arts in Health Research Lab  

Rutgers' School of Public Health and Mason Gross School of the Arts have joined forces with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) to create an Arts in Health Research Lab. This pioneering collaboration aims to study the health effects of arts programs, using innovative research methods and involving students in interdisciplinary research and leadership development.  


By delving into the potential therapeutic benefits of artistic expression, the partnership seeks to advance research on how engagement with the arts can positively impact health outcomes, fostering a deeper understanding of the connection between creativity and well-being.

Read more about the lab.

Marijuana Component Offers Opioid Alternative by Effectively Treating Dental Pain 

Researchers at Rutgers School of Dental Medicine discovered that CBD, a non-addictive derivative of marijuana, effectively reduces acute dental pain, as highlighted in the Journal of Dental Research. This groundbreaking finding suggests CBD could be a safer alternative to opioid painkillers commonly prescribed for dental pain, potentially offering relief without the risk of addiction. 

Read More

More Research at Rutgers Health

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Varies by Race, Sex and

Birthplace, Researchers Find

Rutgers Racing to Find a Better Paxlovid

Water Beads’ Hidden Danger

Clinical News

Gift of $3M to Fund New Chair in LGBTQ+ Health  

James F. Dougherty, a Rutgers alumnus and Board of Governors member who has supported the university in numerous ways for more than two decades, established the Perry N. Halkitis Endowed Chair in LGBTQ+ Public Health at the Rutgers School of Public Health. The endowed chair, aims to promote LGBTQ+ health through research, academic excellence, and community engagement. The donation will also be supported by an additional $2 million from Chancellor Brian L. Strom, contributing to the launch of the Rutgers Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health. 

Read More

Using Dental Degrees for Greater Good

Thomas Sniscak, a 2010 graduate from the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine (RDSM) alumnus is using his dental degree to provide care in New Jersey prisons. Despite entering the workforce during the aftermath of the 2008 recession, Sniscak found fulfillment in working at a county jail one day a week. 


“Nobody really thinks about graduating dental school and working at a jail,” he said. “I figured I'd give it a try, and it turned out I really loved it.” 

Read More

Health Education Matters

Population Health Fellowship Celebrates 2 Years 

Rutgers Health introduced a pioneering population health education program, welcoming fellows like Kathryna Corpuz and Donna Meeker-O’Rourke, fostering collaboration across sectors and research initiatives, while also strengthening universitywide connections following the Rutgers and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey merger. 

In 2020, Rutgers Health approved a novel approach to population health education and launched the Rutgers Population Health Fellowship program with its first fellow, Kathryna Corpuz, in February of 2022. The multidisciplinary fellowship program provides a broad understanding of key stakeholders engaged in population health through experiential learning with leaders in clinical, academic, advocacy, community, and governmental sectors. Fellows complete rotations with a variety of partners within New Jersey and across Rutgers University. 

Rutgers Appoints New Dean to Lead School of Health Professions  

Jeffery DiGiovanni, a communications sciences and disorders scholar with extensive higher education experience, has been named dean of the School of Health Professions (SHP) at Rutgers Health. 


“We are delighted to welcome Dr. DiGiovanni to the Rutgers School of Health Professions, one of the nation’s best, largest, and most comprehensive schools of the health professions,” said Chancellor Brian Strom. “With his extensive background in research, innovation, and clinical practice, we look forward to elevating this school to an even greater level of accomplishment under his leadership.” 

Read More

Celebrating Excellence in Biomedical Research at Rutgers Health 

Meet current biomedical PhD student Andrew Boreland, who took full advantage of the opportunities that Rutgers School of Graduate Studies has to offer and has succeeded at the highest level. After a traumatic brain injury at a young age, he developed a passion for research and neuroscience, which later led to not only an undergraduate major in genetics, but his continuing research on melanoma and neuro-immune dysregulation. 


Read the full profile. 

Climate Action Working Group is Seeking More Participants

The Rutgers Health Climate Action Working Group, part of the Rutgers Office of Climate Action, is seeking more participants who are interested in joining one of the many committees to help achieve sustainability goals. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to participate in any of the following groups: Education and Strategic Communications, Green Labs, Green Practice, and Student Engagement.

Sign Up Today

Rutgers Health in the News

Untitled Design

Poisoning from laundry detergent pods has gone up among older children, teens and adults. Here's why — and how to stay safe.

FDA Allows Florida to Import Cheaper Drugs From Canada

Coughs can linger for weeks after getting sick. Here’s why — and how to get over it faster.